Section 251 - Monitoring Education Budgets

Local Authorities (LAs) must provide details of planned and actual expenditure on education and children's social care to the Secretary of State for Education through the Section 251 budget and outturn statements. This includes the funding agreed with Schools Forum for early years, high needs and post-16 education.

The LA must ensure that this information is publicly available. 

The Section 251 budget statement contains financial information about the planned expenditure on:

  • Schools budget
  • High needs budget
  • Early years budget
  • Children's and young people's services

The Section 251 outturn statement provides the information on what was the actual spend:

  • Spending by schools and the local authority within the schools budget
  • Expenditure on Children's and Young People's Services 
  • School level information, with a summary of individual schools' expenditure in respect of the previous financial year only

This information is used by the Department of Education in a number of ways, including to create financial benchmarking

The analysis planned budgets vs actual spend is also an important aspect of the work of the Schools Forum

Last update: Friday 28th of February 2020 11:14:06 AM